Apple Music coming to Amazon's Echo speaker range on December 17

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 30
Owners of the Amazon Echo device range will soon be able to listen to Apple Music through the smart speakers, the retailer advises, with Apple's streaming music service expanding its reach to the Alexa-powered audio hardware starting from the week of December 17.




Announced via the Amazon corporate blog, Apple Music subscribers will be able to make requests to Alexa to play from Apple Music's catalog of 50 million songs through the Echo devices. Aside from individual artists and songs, users will be able to request any playlist made by Apple Music's editors available on the service, as well as expert-curated radio stations from different genres, and even to listen to Apple's digital radio station Beats 1.

To use the facility, users have to enable a new Apple Music skill in the Alexa app, followed by linking their account.

While the skill will be made available from December 17, it is unclear if it will apply only to users in the United States at launch before a wider rollout, or if Echo devices in other countries where Apple Music is also available will also gain the support at the skill's launch.

"We are committed to offering great music providers to our customers and since launching the Music Skill API to developers just last month, we've expanded the music selection on Alexa to include even more top tier services," said Amazon Devices senior vice president Dave Limp. "We're thrilled to bring Apple Music - one of the most popular music services in the U.S. - to Echo customers this holiday."

While Apple Music wasn't previously supported by the Amazon Echo via Alexa requests, the workaround to play Apple Music tracks effectively used the Echo as a Bluetooth speaker. The addition of the Alexa Skill will enable verbal requests through Amazon's digital assistant, but it won't enable other ways of playing music, such as by adding AirPlay support.

Considering the Amazon Echo range is competing with Apple's own HomePod, the addition of Apple Music onto a rival platform may seem unusual, but it offers a number of benefits to many users. For Apple, it significantly increases the number of devices that can stream Apple Music, as Amazon has a considerable existing install base of the Echo, Echo Dot, and other models.

Amazon will benefit from having even more music service options available to consumers on the Echo range, along with Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora, and others.

For consumers, this presents the opportunity to add numerous Apple Music-compatible speakers to their home, and in the case of the Echo Dot, at a far lower cost than buying a HomePod. While unclear, it is also possible the feature will work with other speakers and devices that use Alexa from third-party vendors, including Sonos and Bose.

News of the new skill arrives shortly after the two companies made a deal to make new Apple products available on Amazon from Apple directly and authorized resellers from January 4.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    I’d prefer it the other way around: open up the home pod to play prime music. I don’t want to pay more for Apple Music when I have prime, even if the Apple Music service is much better and has more music, I’m ok with the prime selection. 
    zroger73appleric
  • Reply 2 of 32
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,701administrator
    alphafox said:
    I’d prefer it the other way around: open up the home pod to play prime music. I don’t want to pay more for Apple Music when I have prime, even if the Apple Music service is much better and has more music, I’m ok with the prime selection. 
    I'm assuming you're using AirPlay for that now. I don't think Apple's going to go this route, otherwise.
  • Reply 3 of 32
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,794member
    Excellent news. 
    etorstenstanhope
  • Reply 4 of 32
    Hmmm, December 2017...?  ;)
    We are 12 months ahead.

    Maybe you could correct the headline and the text  :)
    zroger73watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 32
    I still cannot believe that people actually pay money for Amazon to listen 24/7 and data mine every word!!!
    hmurchisonchasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 32
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,701administrator
    etorsten said:
    Hmmm, December 2017...?  ;)
    We are 12 months ahead.

    Maybe you could correct the headline and the text  :)
    Or you know, leave it as-is because we don't reference years by just the last two digits, and it is excruciatingly clear we are not referring to the year 2017, and, instead, the specific, forthcoming December 17 date.
    edited November 30 pscooter63patchythepiratechasmStrangeDaysalphafoxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 32
    Very surprising news.

    i use Spotify for my music.  I use it because it works everywhere - it’s good apple are taking steps in the right direction but I am sure they will never support the breadth of devices Spotify does, and will never be on google home.

  • Reply 8 of 32
    We already have Apple Music and did not want to pay for Prime Music. This is good news for us.
    stanhopechasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 32
    payecopayeco Posts: 205member
    kkqd1337 said:
    Very surprising news.

    i use Spotify for my music.  I use it because it works everywhere - it’s good apple are taking steps in the right direction but I am sure they will never support the breadth of devices Spotify does, and will never be on google home.

    Why would they not support Google Home? They support Android. Google Home still has a very small market share compared to Amazon Echo. If the userbase was large enough and asking for it they’d add it. 

    I do agree though Apple should open up the API like Spotify does to make third party integration easier.
    edited November 30
  • Reply 10 of 32
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,521member
    I don’t agree that the Echo range and HomePod are “competing” per se. It’s like saying the iPhone and a $100 Android phone are competing. They are in the same market but at different levels. And yes, the Echo is dominating the market share metric just like Android dominates the  smartphone market share with its myriad of cheap products. 

    As for Apple Music and the Echo it’s no surprise at all. The iPod started out exclusive to Apple and iTunes became cross platform later. If Apple wants to grow in the services area then they must go cross platform. Apple’s customer base will still buy Apple products. I bought an Echo just to see what it was all about and it’s not all that superior a product. It’s just relatively cheap and cheap has never doomed Apple in the past even with pundits predicting it would.
    edited November 30 stanhopechasmStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 32
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,521member
    Oh, and I’m betting this announcement is part of the deal between Apple and Amazon last week to get more Apple products on the Amazon storefront.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 32
    Maybe the days where the big four Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook each tried to compete with each other in every category are coming to an end and they will start concentrating again on some core competencies..... in a perfect world, we'd have Apple building hardware and software, Amazon selling and shipping stuff and related AI, Google on AI, and Facebook, on, well, whatever Facebook does.

    Seriously, could this be the start of the end of Amazon Prime Music? It was always inferior and probably only done to keep the license fees payable to Spotify low.
    gatorguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 32
    Of course this is one way for Apple to grow services. But I think it also could be an indication that HomePod isn’t a big seller but Apple isn’t interested in creating a cheaper model. I still think Apple should allow native support of other streaming services which would help HomePod sales. Not everyone wants to use Apple Music.
    edited November 30
  • Reply 14 of 32
    lkrupp said:
    As for Apple Music and the Echo it’s no surprise at all. The iPod started out exclusive to Apple and iTunes became cross platform later. If Apple wants to grow in the services area then they must go cross platform. Apple’s customer base will still buy Apple products. I bought an Echo just to see what it was all about and it’s not all that superior a product. It’s just relatively cheap and cheap has never doomed Apple in the past even with pundits predicting it would.

    I would normally agree with this statement fully, but have to admit that I just opted for an Echo Plus 2nd Gen on Black Friday, as I still can't justify the cost of the HomePod in comparison.  The larger Echo is 'good enough' for music and I couldn't wait any longer for a meaningful feature update to Apple's speaker - Support for multiple AppleIDs, greater control over notifications and the family's shared calendars/reminders etc.  Ultimately, the HomePod will always be a no-go until my wife can ask Siri to 'Play BBC Radio 2,' although that's not Apple's fault of course! 

    Apple Music on Echo is great news, though - I just cancelled my subscription in favour of the almost-free trial of Amazon Music Unlimited when I bought the new speaker.  It's a very good app and service, and obviously works great with the Amazon hardware, but I would rather go back to Apple Music just because of everything else in our house being in Apple's ecosystem.  

    mazda 3s
  • Reply 15 of 32
    Hmmmm, give Amazon access to my Apple ID...... no thank you!!!!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 32
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,794member
    The BIG deal here is that your Apple Music subscription is no longer tethered to only Apple smart speakers. As a music content subscriber or purchaser this is absolutely moving in the right direction. We’ve nearly moved beyond the bad old days of paying multiple times for the same content simply to accommodate the changes in distribution media (LP, cassette, 8-track, CD) by moving to streaming. Now we need to do the same thing for playback and rendering.

    I don’t mind paying for the playback devices and I don’t mind paying for the streaming service. But I do mind having to pay redundantly to direct my streamed content to multiple devices that I own, even if I can only stream to a single device at a time. If the stream is tethered to a specific device then the device should be provided as part of the streaming service. 

    Unlike many, I consider limitations on the number of concurrently active streams to be fair and have no problem with metering, as long as you can purchase more capacity if needed, for example, in a commercial setting. I have no problem with everyone in the business getting a fair deal. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 32
    Hmmmm, give Amazon access to my Apple ID...... no thank you!!!!

    So why is Apple allowing it?
  • Reply 18 of 32
    lkrupp said:
    As for Apple Music and the Echo it’s no surprise at all. The iPod started out exclusive to Apple and iTunes became cross platform later. If Apple wants to grow in the services area then they must go cross platform. Apple’s customer base will still buy Apple products. I bought an Echo just to see what it was all about and it’s not all that superior a product. It’s just relatively cheap and cheap has never doomed Apple in the past even with pundits predicting it would.

     Ultimately, the HomePod will always be a no-go until my wife can ask Siri to 'Play BBC Radio 2,' although that's not Apple's fault of course! 

    A speaker has to be able to play the radio without requiring you to find the phone, take it out, swipe to TuneIn, click on the app, click on favourites, click on a radio station, and click on the AirPlay icon, and finally click on the speaker. Technology should not make life more complicated, it has to be as simple as it was: walk into the kitchen, hit one button. Done, music plays.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 32
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,540member
    lkrupp said:
    As for Apple Music and the Echo it’s no surprise at all. The iPod started out exclusive to Apple and iTunes became cross platform later. If Apple wants to grow in the services area then they must go cross platform. Apple’s customer base will still buy Apple products. I bought an Echo just to see what it was all about and it’s not all that superior a product. It’s just relatively cheap and cheap has never doomed Apple in the past even with pundits predicting it would.
    Ehh, have to disagree there. I'm all-in for Apple products where they shine (I have an iPhone X, Apple Watch S4 SS, and 11-inch iPad Pro), but I use Amazon Echos for my smart speakers. They are dirt cheap, and they get the job done. I used to have 2nd generation Echo Dots spread throughout the house, but with all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales (where the Echo Dot 3rd gen was on sale for $24), I replaced three of the Echo Dots with the new generation (I even managed to score one combo with an Echo Dot and a TP-Link smart plug for $29). The audio quality and max volume of the 3rd gen versus the 2nd gen is amazingly better.

    I replaced the fourth with an Echo Spot for the kitchen (was $89 - 25% off for trading in one of my Echo Spots), so I can see who's at the front door (I have a Ring 2 Video Doorbell) if I'm cooking (I can't do that with anything Apple offers using just my voice). I can also use the Echo Spot to monitor my cameras outside the house and in our 2-year-old's room.

    I may eventually upgrades to the Echo Show (second generation) with the built in smart hub for the kitchen, as its screen is far larger, but I'm not to keen on having that much "screen" in the kitchen. Depends on how low the price goes though :)
    edited November 30
  • Reply 20 of 32
    peteopeteo Posts: 332member
    AI you need to update your post

    From the USA Today exclusive report:

    "From the Amazon Alexa app on your phone, you can select Apple Music and link the account to an Echo, just as you might do via the app with Spotify or other streaming options. If you choose to make Apple Music the default music service, Alexa will play the song, artist or playlist of your choice upon request, or for that matter Apple’s Beats 1 radio, without your having to direct Alexa specifically to Apple Music. If Apple Music is not the default, you’d have to say, “Alexa play X on Apple Music.”

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/baig/2018/11/30/alexa-welcomes-apple-music-amazon-echo/2151574002/

    Its not an alexa skill. so you do not need to say alexa play the pixies on apple music
    edited November 30
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